Every Brownie and Scout has this vital life skill drilled into them.
With a “socially acceptable” two finger salute they shout “Be Prepared!”
Elsewhere we are told – “Forewarned is forearmed!”
The point being, it’s a good idea to have some idea of the things that will rear their head along our journey to success and know what to do to prevent those things from destroying our dreams.
This video is all about the MOST insidious dream destroyer around.
This terrifying dream destroyer is “feeling uncomfortable”.
Most often feeling uncomfortable stems from feeling incompetent at something.
Discovering we suck at the thing we want to master – sucks.
AND it’s part of the process.
As grownups, at some point, we learn to judge the process of learning.
We feel ashamed when we realise we are incompetent at the new thing we are doing.
Worse still, we develop another set of beliefs that we are only worthy and good and loveable if we are mega competent the whole time.
Talk about a crappy corner we back ourselves into.
Thanks to education systems and a society that celebrates the end and not the process, very few of us learn how to become comfortable with incompetence and better still celebrate it!
The inability to love the feeling of incompetence as a clear sign we are learning and expanding, prevents us moving forward and having the things and life we want.
The fear of the pain we’ve associated with feeling incompetent prevents us growing and expanding.
Soon we discover we are avoiding learning how to invest in that next asset class or learning that new language or picking up that guitar that you’ve always wanted to play, not because the steps of learning are complicated or difficult, because we can’t bare to feel the pain of incompetent.
Incompetence, comes with every single new thing we want in our life.
Incompetence is the entry ticket to your next adventure.
Incompetence is the gate through which you have to walk to reach your dreams.
The truth is, incompetence just means we haven’t learned that thing yet.
That’s it – nothing more, nothing less.
To expect ourselves not to feel incompetent is completely unrealistic and is going to trap you into the life you already have.
Your life may be friggin’ awesome, but if we’re not growing and expanding in life, we’re actually dying.
One of the vital life elements we need to thrive as humans, is growth.
Plus, if you’re also not learning new ways to invest or how to manage your money, you’re never going to get the financial reality or result that you want either.
So, here’s what usually happens.
We come across something, we get all excited, and we go, “Hey, I’ve just discovered index track investing, that sounds amazing” or “Wow, I can do this rent to rent strategy in investment property” or “Wow, there’s this passive business strategy I can apply”.
We get all enthusiastic and then, very quickly, we realise we have no clue how to actually do it.
Some people, are totally okay with knowing they are incompetent.
The know they don’t know how to do something they want yet, so they choose to learn, they choose to take action, they choose to consistently pitch up and take action over and over.
They DO, they LEARN, they APPLY, They ADJUST, … repeating this cycle until suddenly they find themselves knowing what the hell they’re doing. With consist action they get better and better and then they achieve mastery!
They emerge from incompetence to competence.
Now they have another skill in their back pocket.
They have another asset class working for them and they’re moving forward in their life, having expanded, having grown, ready for the next area of incompetence they can feel uncomfortable in until they aren’t.
But sadly, although this is the path to your dreams, very few people have learned how to walk the path of uncomfortable.
For most people it goes something like this.
After the initial enthusiasm, they hit the incompetency hump.
“Oh shit, I have no clue what I’m actually doing, I need to learn something, I feel uncomfortable, I feel incompetent… maybe this isn’t meant for me”.
This is the dream killer.
This is the point where most people stop and give up on themselves and their dreams.
How we handle this incompetency hump, is the thing that differentiates people who achieve their dreams and those that stay stuck in the endless loop of collapsing back on themselves, bitching about the life they have.
So let’s really unpack the four key steps to mastery.
STEP 1: Enthusiasm = Unconsciously Incompetent .
Enthusiasm is always the first movement towards mastering anything. It’s the realisation, “Wow, this looks exciting, I can learn how to invest, yes I can create my financial freedom, wow, assets create my freedom, let me learn how to do that”.
This first stage of enthusiasm is also a stage I call unconsciously incompetent. We don’t yet know that we’re completely incompetent and have no clue how to do it. This is a really important stage, because it’s the stage where we get curious and we say, “Great, let’s go towards that” and usually, the second step comes very quickly, which is realising we don’t know how to do it.
STEP 2: Consciously Incompetent
As we hit the incompetency hump, usually very quickly, we transition from unconsciously incompetent to consciously incompetent – very aware that we haven’t a clue how to do this. This is the stage where most people give up. But now with this knowledge you know this is when we need to dig deep and go, “Okay, this is normal”.
This is the stage where successful people choose to get a teacher, do a course, learn, take action, put in the time and double down on their dream.
Celebrate because it is only when we feel the incompetency that we know we’re now growing and learning.
By taking action, applying the new skills, learning through that teacher, that peer group, that mentor, whatever it is, we emerge at step 3, we become consciously competent.
STEP 3: Consciously Competent
Oh joy of joys. Through consistent action, taking one step and then the next, moving through the discomfort of incompetence we suddenly discover we can do this!
We know what the steps are. We know what we need to do. We know how to select an index tracker and get onto our online broker platform and set up our regular investing and how to evaluate the investment property, or whatever it is that you’re learning.
Now we are doing those things consciously, we have to think about each step and follow a specific strategy, but it feels more comfortable now, we know what we’re doing.
And then, as we do it more and more and more, we get to the point where we are unconsciously competent.
STEP 4: Unconsciously Competent
This is the point where we reach mastery in in a specific area.
These days it takes me around 10 minutes a month to do my money management and, update my spend trackers.
It takes me two hours a year to review and rebalance my index tracker portfolio and I can evaluate an investment property and know whether its worth pursuing or not in a few minutes. This is because I’ve become unconsciously competent in those areas, but it took that journey for me to get here.
Every single thing in your life needs to be learned.
To have the life of your dreams you have to be prepared to be uncomfortable with being incompetent and learn to celebrate the feeling of incompetence because it’s telling you you are expanding and growing.
In the comments below, I’d love to know…
- What dream are prepared to be uncomfortable for in order to have it?
- What area of your life do you know you need to feel incompetent in, to get you closer to your financial freedom?
- What is something that you can commit to learning so you can take yourself closer to the life that you really want to be living?
Please share as much detail as possible as thousands of Wealth Chef’s in the making come here each week for juicy wealth snacks, insight and inspiration as they create their juicy financially free lives too.
Your ideas and shares may trigger someone to have a big breakthrough and perhaps give someone else the courage to take the step they need to take to be free and have the courage to feel incompetent.
Thanks as always for reading, watching and sharing so generously and for choosing to master this key ingredient money and live your juiciest life.
Remember, your financial freedom is create just one step at a time, together with a little bit of incompetency on the way.
With huge love